Troubleshooting Portable Generator Problems

Generators are complex machines that can break down for any number of reasons. Prior to scheduling portable generator repair in Arizona, it is advisable to troubleshoot potential causes that are preventing reliable power generation.

Failure to Start / Rough Operation / Fuel Problems

Fuel tends to degrade while it is stored and stale fuel is a common cause of generator failure. This is why it is important to drain a portable generator when you intend to store it for long periods of time. If fuel stale fuel is the suspected problem, the tank should be drained and fresh fuel added. You should also check that the fuel shutoff valve is not engaged.

If this does not resolve the problem, it is possible that the stale fuel has clogged the fuel lines, engine, or fuel pump. In such instances, a mechanic may need to manually clean these components to remove the clog.

Failure to Start / Oil Problems

Low oil levels can prevent a portable generator from starting and can cause permanent damage to the generator. Typically, low oil is indicated by the sensor when it detects insufficient oil within the generator. If there is sufficient oil in the reservoir but the oil light is on, you may have a faulty sensor that needs replaced.

Sputters and Stalls / Clogged Filters

Clogged air filters are a common problem with portable power generators. If you typically operate the generator in dusty environments such as barns or construction sites, you need to regularly clean or change your air filters. Clogged filters hinder the proper ratio of gas to air which prevents efficient operation of the generator. While it may be tempting to run the generator without an air filter attached, this should never be attempted. Doing so can cause permanent damage to the engine.

Failure to Start / Sputters & Stalls / Fouled Spark Plugs

Fouled spark plugs are easy to spot. They typically have significant sludge or dark carbon accumulations around them. While changing a fouled spark plug, it is advisable to ensure that the engine is delivering electricity to the plug. If it is, then changing the spark plug is likely to resolve the problem.

No Power / No Voltage / Loss of Residual Magnetism

Residual magnetism is lost when generators sit unused for long periods, when the generator runs with no load for too long, or when the generator is connected to the load when it is shut off. When this happens, you can connect the generator to a 12-volt battery or plug in a drill and use the motion of the drill to generate an electrical current that will restore the magnetism within the generator.

The generator and air power specialists at Gen-Tech can help you troubleshoot and repair problems with your portable power generator. We also offer rentals of portable power generators. If your generator is in need of repairs, we invite you to contact us at (800) 625-8324 to discuss the problem and to identify potential solutions.

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